It all depends. I heard back in the early (to mid) 90's, little silvery-looking Sony Hi8 Handycam was a way to make video documentaries in Sarajevo. Because the snipers would be pointing their rifles at anyone with a tool that looked weapons. But even with that little video camera, if you looked through the viewfinders in an open field, you would get shot from distance.
Originally Posted by Mike Kennedy
Also, lately I heard when you travel to certain countries where secret police are tough, the last thing you want to do is to present yourself as someone who's eager to take pictures. Based on your possession of tools and documents, they could suspect you as a spy. I don't know for sure since I'm not a pro in that field.
I'm not trying to scare you, but the bottom line seems to be that you don't want to carry around too many high-tech gadgets. And I regret that I got rid of my old beatup Nikon FM that I was using back in college.